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Teardown of HTC ThunderBolt points to higher cost of LTE enabled Apple iPhone

Posted: , posted by Alan F.

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Teardown of HTC ThunderBolt points to higher cost of LTE enabled Apple iPhone
IHS iSuppli did its usual thing with the HTC ThunderBolt, dissecting the device and calculating what the cost is of all of the smatphone's parts. The analysis shows that the smartphone is made up of $262 worth of parts making it the costliest cell phone ever to build, based on parts alone. The $262 figure is comparable to the cost of some tablets and is higher than the $171.35 worth of parts in Verizon's version of the Apple iPhone 4.

The most expensive part of the HTC ThunderBolt is its Qualcomm MDM9600 4G LTE baseband chip. That piece of detective work leads iSuppli to compute that an LTE version of the Apple iPhone would cost 23% more to build ($211.10) than the current 3G model, assuming that Apple uses the same first-gen LTE parts that are in the T-Bolt. Wayne Lam, a senior analyst at IHS said that Apple would need to increase the size of the printed circuit board inside the iPhone in order to support the LTE baseband processor and the accompanying chipset. This dovetails perfectly with comments made by Apple COO Tim Cook who stated that Apple did not make the current version of its handset LTE enabled because it would have required a whole redesign of the slim model, which would have added some heft to it.

source: IHS iSuppli via PCMag

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